The McLennan baseball and softball teams are picked first and second, respectively, in the North Texas Junior College Athletic Conference (NTJCAC) Coaches Preseason Polls.
The baseball coaches tabbed the Highlanders to claim their third consecutive confernece title in 2018, followed by Grayson in second, Cisco in third and Weatherford in fourth. The top four teams in the conference will advance to the Region V Tournament in May with the regional champion moving on to the JUCO World Series.
The Highlanders had a phenomenal 2017 season. The team was ranked 16th in the NJCAA Division I Preseason Poll and climbed the poll throughout the season, spending a week at No. 1. The Highlanders recorded a 26-6 conference mark, including being undefeated in April, to claim a second consecutive conference championship. Success continued in the postseason as well. The squad went 6-1 in the Region V Tournament to claim another regional title and secure a return trip to the JUCO World Series. The Highlanders went 1-2 in Grand Junction, finishing in fifth place and ending the season with an overall record of 52-13.
The Highlanders open the season at home Friday, Jan.26, hosting Angelina for a noon doubleheader at Bosque River Ballpark.
Temple is predicted to finish in first amongst the conference’s softball squads, followed by McLennan in second, Weatherford in third and North Central in fourth. Grayson and Cisco selected to be fifth and sixth, respectively. The top six teams will advance to the Region V North Tournament, also in May.
The Highlassies had a 21-11 conference record in 2017 for a fourth-place finish and secured a regional tournament berth. At the tournament in McKinney, the Highlassies went 2-2 and finished in third place, ending the season with an overall record of 39-19.
The Highlassies also open their season at home Friday, Jan. 26, hosting Western Texas for a 1 p.m. doubleheader at Bosque River Ballpark.